by Katrina Whitehead in New Events on Thursday 17 December 2009

I was lucky enough to attend the recent launch of the new Australia and New Zealand Guidebook by Mr & Mrs Smith. And let me tell you, if luxe travel is your thing, this is the book. Travel guide publishers have copped a bit of flack recently — especially after Thomas Kohnstamm wrote his hedonistic, “tell all” book Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?, in which he alleged that most of the content he wrote for Lonely Planet’s Brazilian guidebook was either fudged, or written in a drug-induced stupor. However, with Mr & Mrs Smith, Kohnstamm’s version of travel writing couldn’t be further from the truth.

For a start, Mr & Mrs Smith limit their guidebooks to a small collection of carefully selected luxury/boutique hotels and resorts — in specific regions around the world. They research each hotel and destination exhaustively and employ a veritable army of high profile ‘tastemakers’ (including Aussie names like Sigrid Thornton, Deborah Hutton, Christine Mansfield and David Grant) who write honestly about their experiences. Plus, every hotel is always reviewed by a trusted member of the Mr & Mrs Smith travel team, so you know you’re getting balanced advice. Oh, and most importantly, the editorial team have fabulous taste. Their selections will make you drool. Clearly I was impressed.